WHITE WATSON   (1760-1835) (Download pdf)

G P.   Challenger

In his introduction to the reprint of Watson's "The Strata of Derbyshire" Ford (1973) discusses the importance of Watson as a geologist and gives sketches of his character and family history.    He also lists Watson's publications and manuscripts,   chiefly on geological subjects.    This   article is mainly about non-geological aspects of his life and his observations on the neighbourhood of Bakewell.

He left Sheffield School to help his uncle Henry at the Ashford Marble works.    When that was sold after Henry's death in   1786,   he carried on a variety of activities at the Bath House,   Bakewell,   (now Haig House) where he lived until his death.    Besides his geological studies and lectures,   he collected and sold fossils and minerals; designed and executed monuments, fireplaces etc; laid out Bath Gardens (since altered);  studied plants; wrote poems; "dissected" the Bible; drew profiles of visitors and kept a museum and reading room.    His wife was proprietress of the warm bath after it was restored in 1817.

WHITE   WATSON,                                                        (
 ( ncj.ixu mdSuculbf m Mr. HtNRY WATSON, lucof BiktwU. )                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              |
 i                                                                                                                                                                                                                 '                                                                                                                                                                                                                   '
 •                                                                                  R K G S  leave to acquaint the Nobility, Gentry and others, that he exo- j
 ' *~^ cutes Moiiumenu, Chimney 1'ieces, Table*, V«les and other Ornaments,  ! | in all the variety of Engiilh and Vorc^n NUiblts, agreeable to die modem  I
 •                                                                                Tallc »uJ upon the moll rcaiuiublc Terms.
 J      W. WATSON, having aticmive!/ collected the   Minerals and FoffiUof 1
 ' Dtriyjhin, is  now in  pullelhon  ol' a valu.bU AfToumcnt ready  for the iu-
! fpcctiun  of i!ie Curious,   and  uiulouk.cs to execute orders   for   the   like !
;   I'jodutlioiis, properly anangcd LinJ ^U-iLiilicd,                                                                                                                             «• 
 A collector and sc!!lt oi'all this son of work, and curiosity; but which is to hcaeen to more pcrtcc.iioii in many shopd in London. It'MrW. hoped tor a Buyer in me, he was mistaken.

Briggs (1858) inserted a printed note in his manuscript "Worthies of Derbyshire" stating that "his conversational powers made him a welcome guest".     Watson was invited to the Duke of Devonshire's birthday dinner in 1808.

Towards the end of his life,   he had financal  problems and sent unsolicited specimens in the hope of being paid.    Two letters in Weston Park Museum refused payment for unsatisfactory or unwanted goods.    In a draft of a letter to D'Ewes Coke in 1833 he pleaded for a cabinet of fossils to be bought as he needed the money to avoid arrest.    One assumes that his  friends rallied round.    A letter dated 9 July 1835 from James Taylor (enclosed in his diaries) sadly announced his death the previous day.    He had requested Mr.   MacQueen to make his will and write to his nephew in London.

The rest of this article draws on material from several sources.    There may be other writings waiting to be found.    For instance there   is a reference in a letter in Weston Park Museum to something copied from Watson's Memorabilia Vol.  I p. 122. 1     Observations on Bakewell

Extracts were published under this title in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal for  1889 (a copy of which is in Bakewell  library).    High Peak News, in 1926,   carried (according to the compiler,   Mr.   Jim Davies) a complete transcript of Watson's manuscript.    It was then in the possession of White Watson Bradbury of Bakewell though it had left Bakewell at the time of the publication of the D. A. J.   article.     The following includes everything of interest omitted from the D. A. J.   article,    except for a history of Haddon and a long extract from a newspaper of 1828 on the objection of Taddington and other townships to helping to pay for the restoration of Bakewell Church. Boulsover (1908) draws heavily on the same material.

The following is quoted verbatim,   except for sections in brackets.

The quarter sessions were held at this town previous to and in 1774. The gentlemen were always as well accommodated with beds,   etc. ,   as it was possible by the principal inhabitants,   who spared no pains to oblige them.     Though no pains were wanting from the inhabitants to make everything agreeable to the gentlemen who generally   attended these sessions,   yet for a few years previous to  1797  some of the visitors made   great complaints about their accommodations and in this year,   there being a  mob assembling about the Militia Act,   they made such complaint as to remove the sessions to Derby,   endeavouring to disgrace the town,   from whom they had for many years received so many civilities,   calling them riotous,   etc.     But,   be assured, there was not one inhabitant of the town joined the mob,   but to a man were


against it.     The gentlemen of the town behaved with great propriety, offering every assistance.

1807 October 3.    The new coach called Defiance came from Ashbourne through Bakewell to Sheffield,   to commence in the morning,   the coach from Sheffield to Birmingham.    I saw it and thought it very handsome.

1818 April the  l6th.    The Bruce Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.

1818 May  1st.     The Peveril of the Peak Coach commenced from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.    Mem.   June 26.    In the last seven days 655 passengers have passed through Bakewell by coaches.

Notice dated Bakewell News Room,   Monday 3rd Jan.   1820:

The gentlemen interested in bringing the water from the Edge to the town are desired to meet in this room on  Saturday next at

one o'clock.

N. B.       It was understood that Robert Arkwright,   Esq.,   would have

superintended the business and lent the money.

Notice dated Bakewell May 2nd 1831:

We,   the undersigned,   request the freeholders and leaseholders of houses in Bakewell,   to attend a meeting to be held  at the Town Hall, on  Thursday,   the 5th inst.   at 6 o'clock in the evening,   for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of making an application to D'Ewes Coke,   Esq. ,   to supply such houses with soft water from the Duke of Rutland's Reservoir.

Robert Johnson.    George Holmes,   jun. #

(He includes the notice of a public dinner to be held at the Rutland Arms Inn on Saturday the 28th May 1831 to commemorate the birthday of the King), Mr.   James Taylor acted as secretary,    and dinner was to be on the table at five o'clock,   tickets to be had at the bar of the Rutland Arms Inn. John Barker,   Esq.,   of Burre House,   was in the chair.

*     Water was piped from Manners Wood in 1832.


(He records that 26 other gentlemen were present,   the Tideswell band attended and Mrs.   Greaves "furnished with a most excellent   dinner". The toast list gives 13 toasts. )

Bakewell,   1829,   population 1900 is a market town,   township, constabulary and parish,   and is esteemed the chief town of the High Peak Hundred.    The population are employed in trade or handicrafts,   54 families employed at Arkwright's cotton factory,   37 are shoemakers,    18 blacksmiths, 21 joiners and cabinet makers,   9 carpenters,   12 marble masons,   and the rest are engaged chiefly in mining,   agriculture,   chertstone getting, professional pursuits and some living independent.

N. B.    the township of Bakewell is divided among 53 resident and non¬resident freeholders.    His Grace the Duke of Rutland's estate here being 1823 acres and a great part of the buildings of the town,   and,   as Lord of the Manor,   holds a court annually in the town.

The -waters of Bakewell were known to the Romans.    The Saxon name, Baddecanwell,   is derived from the baths.    The tepid chalybeate spring the water   which,   after being recently analysed,   was recommended  as a tonic and as a bath for chronic rheumatism.    A large bathing house was erected over this spring in 1697 and was re-opened by direction of His Grace the Duke of Rutland.    Two shower baths of different powers have been added, and a newsroom established on the premises.

1829. Near the ramparts on Castle Hill was found a copper bolt head covered with green rust, and is supposed to be an instrument discharged from some engine.

Mr.   Samuel Watson,   of Baslow (my father),   obtained a patent in 1774 for making a handmill of millstone,   sandstone and Derbyshire burr,   for grinding wheat and other grain into flour; and also  for crushing malt,   oates, beans,   drugs,   etc.

1800.    Commons of Bakewell and Over Haddon.    The Duke of Rutland's precedent,   by enclosing with quicksets in lieu of stonewalls,   will remove the dreary aspect of the country and yield a richer prospect to  the traveller, and be of service by affording timber useful for various purposes and a warmer shelter for cattle.

And here behold a smiling change of scene, Where earth born russet turns to lively green; Rich pastures rise where deserts spread before, And barren wastes recruit the less'ning store.


1806.    On the third of August,   a trout was taken out of a pond situate on shale grit,   belonging to His Grace the Duke of Devonshire in Chatsworth Par that was one foot ten inches long by one foot seven  inches in girth,   weighing eleven pounds and a half,   of a fine salmon colour and a very good flavour and it weighed only two pounds when put into the pond four years before.

1810.    Two miles from Bakewell upon the top of a hill,   is a piece of ground of a strange nature; it is a field which for the most part has very good grass on it,   but if a horse be put  into it,   it will fat him or kill him in a month's time,   as the opinion prevails hereabouts. *

Mr.   John Noton,   of Birchills,   near Bakewell,   and several other farmers sowed very small Hen Wheat (Hinder Ends) in the autumn of 1804 and October 6th 1805 which produced very excellent crops.    In the autumn of 1804 Mr.   Wm.   Fentem of Bakewell sowed some remarkable small hen wheat which weighed only 12 stone to the load (3 strike),   which now,   12 September 1805,   is a remarkable fine strong good crop and very  rank and laid by in places.

Mr. Gibbons of Rowsley informs me that his father told him that he remembered a farmer, between Rowsley and Bakewell, having men employee to go up the furrows in his wheat fields in the month of July, with strings, to beat the dew off the wheat every morning to prevent mildew.

The Rev.   J.   Browne (successor to the Rev.   Mr.   Chapman)  intends to open his school on Monday,   the 28th of July,   1806,   and teach the  following branches of literature,   viz.,   English,   Latin and Greek languages, grammatically; geography,   ancient and modern; writing; in all its various, useful and ornamental parts; arithmetic,   merchants' accounts,   and the mathematics systematically,   -with the clearest demonstration in every brand thereof.    Terms: entrance,   5/-; English and writing,    7/6 per quarter; Latin and Greek and writing,    10/6; arithmetic,   10/6; mathematics,   15/6. N. B.   - The children of the inhabitants,   when capable of reading in the Bible, are taught English, Latin and Greek free.     Bakewell,   June 27,   1806.

Mrs.   R.   Pidcock begs leave to inform the inhabitants of Bakewell and its neighbourhood that she intends to open a school on Monday,   the 6th of July,   1807,   in Bakewell,   for the instruction of young ladies,   as   day pupils, in the usual branches of female education   on the following terms,   viz. : per quarter,   instruction in reading,   English grammar,   writing and needle¬work,   10/6;  children under   five years of age,   7/-;  entrance,   2/6.    Mrs.   R..: having endeavoured to qualify herself for teaching the above branches

Bole Hill?    Lead would be taken up by  horses more when the grass- was poor.


ventures respectfully to solicit the  support of the gentry and inhabitants of Bakewell in her attempts to establish a respectable   school in the town.   -June 2nd,   1807.

Mem.   -  On Midsummer day,   1807,   Mrs.   R.   Pidcock entered upon the rooms in my house  to commence teaching a day school.   - White Watson.

The Rev.   J.   Coates intends to open a school in   Bakewell on Monday, the 3rd of January,   1814,   and proposes to teach a limited number of young ladies and gentlemen in the following branches of literature,   viz.,   reading, writing, and arithmetic,   English grammar and geography,   Latin and  Greek languages,   etc.    Terms,   one guinea per quarter.     Entrance,   5 shillings. J.   C.   having'been in the habit of educating youth a number of years in two very respectable academies hopes,   as he   only intends to take a small number, he shall be able to give satisfaction to those parents who may entrust their children to his  care.

Mary Hague's School.   - By will,   bearing date 20th November,   1715, Mary Hague gave her house,   garden,   stable and nine square yeards of land for ever,   for teaching so many poor children belonging to the poor of Bakewell 'in reading' as the yearly rent would amount to,   until they could read the Bible,   and then to be removed and others supply their places. Ralph   Bradbury,   the parish clerk,   was appointed schoolmaster by the vicar and parish officers.    He received the emoluments and for them instructed seven poor children,   boys and girls,   of the township of Bakewell,   appointed by the churchwardens.

1809.   - Remarkable spring at Chelmorton.    Chelmorton is remarkable for a spring,   which rises under a hill called the Lowe,   where the limestone and basaltic amygdaloid basset,   and being received there into stone troughs, from thence continues its course through the  village,   and at the bottom sinks into a   swallow in the limestone below,   and goes a long way under the  surface before it appears to the day again,   from which circumstance it had obtained the appellation 'The ill willy water of Chelmorton,   that serves no town but its own. '

1809.   - The river Wye affords excellent trout,   which seldom exceed three pounds in weight,   but have been taken as large as six,   its colour

frequently red and of fine flavour; grayling,   which seldom exceeds two

pounds, laxbrood or  samlets,   which,   though abundant a few years ago,   are now become scarce,   and rarely weigh six ounces.     There is the silver eel and crawfish also,   and to Bakewell great numbers of gentlemen resort in the angling season for diversion,   where they   meet with the best accommoda-tion at the large and excellent inn lately built by His Grace the Duke   of


Rutland,   called the Rutland Arms.    The river Lathkill also affords excellent trout in equal  size,   and is superior in colour   and flavour to those in the Wye; grayling has not been observed higher up this river than at Alport;  silver eels are frequently  met with,   but no crawfish.

The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent his angle trembling in his hand, With looks unmov'd,   he hopes the spotted

breed; And eyes the springing drake and bending


- Pope.

Forming road surfaces in 1810.   - Though various methods have been pursued in forming the surface of roads,   that lately introduced into the neighbourhood of Bakewell has by much the preference,   for ease of horse and carriage,   for durability and the least expense.    These roads are made of limestone,   which is broken at the quarries to a circular,   iron gage of 2j inches diameter within; and there is a forfeiture for each stone that will not pass the ring; in this state it is applied to the roads,   which are made with an horizontal surface,   at a certain price per ton.

1805.   - In the neighbourhood of Hathersage,   where sandstone stratum forms a chain of mountains,   and where the best peak millstones are procure

and the sheep that are pastured on these mountains,   produce wool the most esteemed in the county,   which is the case with those sheep in Spain,   whose summer station is on the mountain Arandilla,   which is a similar sandstone stratum.    The coincidence therefore of sheep pastured on this stratum, producing wool of a very superior quality in countries  so very remote,   fully confirms its superiority and will no doubt be particularly attended to by the intelligent farmer,   attentive to the goodness of his wool,   who will consequen avoid turning his sheep from this  stratum upon that of limestone. Some curious relics of antiquity in my possession at Bath House: A basaltic celt,   discovered near Haddon Hall in November  1795. An entire urn   of baked earth found in a barrow on Stanton Moor,

full of bones,   July 15th 1799.

A small lamp found in another urn,   about the same time and place with heads of a spear and arrow of flint,   which were among the burnt bones contained in them. A basaltic head of an axe found on Stanton Moor in 1800.


2     Extracts from White Watson's diaries in Sheffield library Bagshaw MS 317

1782.    Coat of Arms belonging to our family: Gules 3 bars argent charged with 3 crescents ermine in the chief two lances or with their points broken off.

Headstone in Baslow Churchyard:    John White of Baslow who dyed October 21 1636 his age 6l.

Old mens ages in Bakewell alive in this year    12 totalling 1014.

1791.     Bee orchis,   Orchis apifera in flower in July in a field opposite the old bath.

Extracts from Edensor register:   George Greensmith's wife Elizabeth buried 1686.    He died 1697 (my grandmother's mother and father) Edward Greensmith buried at Bakewell.

Thos.   Beswick -  'A general history of Quadropeds' (book titles are occasionally noted elsewhere).

June 25.    The Brickmaker in the Outrake moulded betwixt 5 o'clock morning and 11 noon 2605 bricks for the new White Horse Inn. *

Aug.   12.    All persons who are desirous of   coming forward in defence of their country are desired to meet at the Town Hall this day at 12 o'clock. I was at the meeting when,   with all the rest present - upward of 40,  I signed myself a volunteer.     On the Sunday a general meeting was called when papers were disbursed to every householder to give an account of himself.    When I signed infirm   .   .   .   and delivered to Mr.   Joseph Wilson,   Constable 15 Aug.

28 Aug. William Mansell engages to make bricks at 22/- a thousand to Bakewell.

1806,      Sayings in the Peak.   Neans and Naynts - friends and relations.

14 March. At the request of Mr. J. Milne of Wakefield I obtained leave of Rev. P. Walthall to erect a monument in Ashford Church to the memory of his ancestors.

1807,      30 Dec.    Began laying the first strata tablet of the whole country.

Finished strata part 27 January.

1808,      4 Jan.     Dinner at Chatsworth.    His Grace's birthday aged 59.

20 Feb.    Mr.    Stevens lays me five pounds to a penny that I don't sell

10 strata tablets in five years.

26 May.    Mr.   J.   Barker of Bakewell sowed oats off Cowden,   his new inclosur e.

July 20.    I married my dear Ann,   the daughter of Daniel and Mary Thompson aged 26 March 1808.    Her mother's maiden name was   Burgin, daughter of Thomas Burgin.

Rutland Arms


Ann's grandmother's sister married a Taylor   by which they became related to Sir Isaac Newton.

Bakewell inhabitants  1412 in 1801.    In 1808 there were upwards   of 50 inhabitants in Bakewell upwards of 70 years old.

The altitude of Bow Cross    its height from the level of the River   at the bridge to Calton Wall 177 yards.       (Many other such measurements appear.

1812.    (He records   a theft of holly from his garden on 29 Dec. Many garden notes appear in later diaries,   including sprays for pests. )

1814.      10 May.    Robert Critchlow began garden next the street.

1815.      22 June.    Rejoicing at Bakewell for   Peace when proclaimed.

Bonfires,   cannons,  fireworks.    Church battlements illuminated.    Bonyparty

in effigy and Lord Wellington.    Bells rang all day.

(He lists classes of spring water and -where  found. )

1816.      C.   Crotiah built Mr.   J.   Walthall's house* in or about 1648.

See his tomb on the S. W.   corner of church.

22 July.    The gravel walks in the Bath Garden were finished.    The last coat 40 loads from Winster neighbourhood at 3/6.

(He calculates the volume   of water in the bath and gives a cross section of its vaulted chamber.    The minerals of the  water are discussed. )

1819-    Mockshaw Mine    has produced by 1 Feb.   2576 loads 6 dish of clean ore which cleared £500 - W.   Leedham.

19 Feb.    Sowed mistletoe berries in tufa of grotto.

Saw machine that went without horses - Traddler   - made by  a man from Hull - was at Bakewell 21 Aug.    Very clever machine.

Gas lights first appearing in Sheffield in Oct.

1820.      3 Jan.    Meeting to form committee for relieving the poor.

1 Sep.    Visited Sir J.   Banks at Buxton.    26, 000 acres to be enclosed at Newhaven.

1821.      Inhabitants of Bakewell May 28.    Male 856,   Female 926.    Total 17J

1822.      Deputy Lieutenants newly appointed Oct.   Robert Arkwright,

Peter Walthall,   Robert Birch,   Rev.   John   Barker,   Rev.   Richard Smith.

1825.     One White,   a shoemaker in Taddington,   calculated the Nautical Almanack.    He made 2 globes.    Used to walk to Derby to  learn arithmetic. 29 May.    Mr.   Chantry called.

Ball Cross

*     Ivy House,   South Church Street. +     near Green Cowden.

/    later Sir Francis Chantry,   Royal Academician.


The aliens corner in Bakewell churchyard.

1826.      Nov.   8.    Mr.   Bossley died in 79th year.

The intended new road begins at the new bridge where the old smelting mill stood in Shacklo.w and goes on Fin side to Monsal Dale thence to Blackwell Mill and comes out near Barmoor Clough Toll bar.

1827.      The new road from Baslow to Chesterfield joins the old one at

Umberlee Bridge.

1831.    28 Feb.    2 large elms removed from near Parsonage,   Bakewell, to near the Lodge Chatsworth with their roots and tops quite perfect.' ..'  .'

Water engine for raising water.     Lathkill Dale Mine - Chesterfield Gazette.   Jan.   22.

3     Copy of 'The Strata of Derbyshire' with other printed works and hand¬written notes bound in.    (Derby library MS 8371)

As a frontispiece is a drawing of a gravestone commemorating White Watson and his wife Ann (not his actual stone in Bakewell churchyard) so the material must have been bound after his death.    Also bound in is an auction list of Luke Bingham's collection which he sold in 1890 owing to declining health.    Included in  this catalogue is one of White Watson's geological tablets and 3000 geological and other  specimens.    These could have come from White Watson's Museum. *

In the following,   verbatim extracts are in quotation marks. The Bath House.

"The Bath -was uncovered until about  1705    when the present  elegant ashlar    arch and rooms were built over it upon its ancient walls. " "It was much frequented until about the year  1767 when the modern baths at Buxton coming into vogue, this ancient bath .   .   .   became neglected and .   .   .   was converted into a dwelling,   the bath being covered with a boarded floor supported by sandstone pillars. "   "On examining the walls of the Bath at the time of the repairs in 1817, a spring of cold water was discovered under the steps,   which being taken away,   the water of the Bath remained  at 60    as is the spring. " It was restored by the Duke of Rutland with the addition of two shower baths and pump.

A printed notice of 1st May  1817 announced the re-opening of the ancient bath.     "Mrs.   Watson has a complete assortment of linen and dresses and she

Bagshaw (1846) and Adam (l85l) both mention that the collection mostly went to a local gentleman, though Ford (1973) says that the mineral and fossil collection was dispersed. Glover describes the collection briefly.

Glover (1833) and Ward (1827) give the date of erection of the Bath House as   1697.     Watson himself in his Observations on Bakewell gives  1697.


begs to assure those ladies and gentlemen who may intend to use the Bath thai every attention shall be paid to their convenience and comfort. "


The poem by "a Gentleman of Bakewell" about a spring in Bath Gardens,

published in "The Strata of Derbyshire" has a handwritten addition.    Perhaps the lines were part of the original but were omitted for reasons of delicacy. Or did Watson compose them?    They follow the 4th line of page 36.

"There erst from illness or perchance from whims, Our Peakrill ladies lav's their tender limbs, No screen to keep them from the prying eye, Nor any covering save the ample sky; For here by modesty alone arrayed, Of shame unconscious they their frames displayed; But when refinement deemed it was unchaste, In public thus to come and wash the waist, A mansion rose,   where midst ear piercing gabble, Their snowy frames they unobserved might dabble. "

Some of Watson's poems both published and in manuscript are bound in. Some have a geological theme:    "The Entrochal Marble",   "On the Screwstone

Builders Lime.

An advertisement of 1827 for James Critchlow's Superior Lime mentions that "specimens may also be seen with White Watson".    Watson notes below that it was made from black limestone and that it was used by Robert Arkwri for the "aquaduct from the pond now finished at Ashford to the Cotton Mill" and by Mr.   Bateman  "in making the railroad from Cromford to Manchester",


Watson noted the levels taken for a proposed canal to link the Cromford and Peak Forest canals.    From these he   deduced the height above sea level of George Bibby's house which the canal would have passed on its way from Bakewell into a tunnel leading to Calver.    "On 28 July 1814 Mr.   Johnson surveyed again for the railroad but on that day it was opposed and done away with. "


Much of manuscript is of geological or mining subjects: Watson corres¬ponded with Prof. Buckland of Oxford on the reasons for limestone caves containing the bones of animals from warm climates. He asserted that toad; had been found alive in rocks by Michael Brightmore, joiner, of Bakewell an by Robert Bradbury and others, marble masons of Bakewell in a black marbi quarry - Riding Quarry, Cowden.


He mentioned that the Duke of Rutland  imprisoned some poor people for collecting rottonstone* on Cowden,   Bakewell Moor,   etc.   Messrs   Twigg and Thornhill had a concession for it.

Henry Watson had employed Benjamin Sellers to collect minerals from mines about the year 1772. "The Rev. William Bullock tried experiments upon them and gave them names. " "He named this Barytes, Onyx. It was got in Mockshaw Mine. "

Another published work (of 1813) bound in is "A section of the Strata of Matlock Bath .   .   .   correcting Mr.   Farey's section .   .   .   confuting his theory". A handwritten note records that "Soon after I had published this section .   .   . Mr.   Farey called one Sunday morning on Mr.   Robert Clayton at Bonsai with one of them in his hand,   who he asked if he knew W.   Watson and that book? Who answered yes I do.    And do you say it  is right?    Yes.    Will you take a walk and shew me?    I cannot,   sir,   but if you will give any boy in the district sixpence he will soon convince you.    Upon which Mr.   F.   rode off. "

Carvings at Chats worth.

There is a list of items carved by Samuel Watson at Chatsworth taken from a settlement of 1691 and a note about several individual carvings. Watson refers to Gibbons having  done carving in the Chapel.


Besides geology, Watson studied plants/. There is a table of British ferns and a section of a glebe field showing different root types using different zones of the soil.

4     Notes from letters mainly to Watson,   in Weston Park Museum,    Sheffield. Copies are in the Old House Museum.    They mostly concern collections of minerals.

Thomas Ashwood of Longstone invites Watson to dinner and discusses

conservatory plants.            1792.

Mrs.  Price Clarke requests peices of different marbles as purchased by

Mr.   Clarke on the day "volunteers were ordered to Bakewell to quell the

Jacobin Riots".     1801.

*     Rottenstone is a breakdown product of black marble used for polishing. See Ford,   (1967)

Watson had done one of his silhouettes or  'profiles' of Farey about  1806. Farey's "A General view of the Agriculture and Minerals of Derbyshire" was published in 1811.  Papers of 1808 and 1811 put  foreward geological theories for this area.

4-   He was a Fellow of the Linnaean Society.


A sketch shows "iron rings termed stone rings first used in making roads at Chelmorten and Flagg 1806".    This method of making roads is discussed ir,| his "Observations on Bakewell" for  1810.    The rings were used for grading tl| size of stones.

Charles Hatchett requests specimens to complete the collection at the

British Museum.  1799.

A petition for the Cromford Canal is mentioned in a letter from Benjamin Outram in March 1789.    Goods were being sent via the canal in Sep.   1792 by Watson.

Dr.   Samuel Pegge of Whittington introduces Mr.   Hunter.       1791.

John Sneyd defers a visit to the chert quarry and invites Watson to look at the  Cheadle and Leek area.

Benjamin Taylor who has migrated from Upper Haddon to New York want

advice on how to make malleable iron.    The New York iron smelters have

managed to produce only cast iron. 1792.

Watson to Professor of Geology,   Oxford,   sending tablets for Radcliff library "to adorn a building already embellished with carving executed in 1738 by my uncle Henry Watson".

Watson offers W.   Manning M.P.   geological tablets of England for   £6.

Tablets of Derbyshire are in the  Radcliff library,   Oxford and Edinburgh

Museum.               1830.

Watson writes to Paxton about a deformed skylark.

E.   Winninglow asks for Iceland lava from Joseph Banks.         1832.

5     Notebooks and annotated publications in the possession of Roger Bradbury of Winster.    Most of the writing is on geological matters but one notebook has a list of over 200 books owned by Watson in 1793 and records who borrowed or bought them.     The Duchess of Devonshire apparently failed to return a volume of Linnaean Transactions.'    The same notebook has a numbei of 'receipts' for cements,   inks,   varnishes,   etc.    They include: how to engra' on an egg,   make stars for rockets,   graft 'missetoe',   preserve birds,   feed caterpillars,   take away warts,   clean horn 'lanthorns',   cure belly ache in horses and cure belland.

The results of 3 years work in dissecting the Bible are also noted,   as the number of verses,   words,   "ands",   "Jehovers",   etc.

He records a forestry planting plan used by  Sir Joseph Banks at Eddlesto Another note concerns diseases of corn,   hops and fruit trees.


6              A folio of Watson's geological sections in Derby library (MS9262)


A plan of the River Wye near Bakewell in 1810  showing springs,   islands, weirs, etc.     A note added later records that William  Gauntley started irrigation to the south of Bellwell in 1820 after draining by soughs.

A drawing of 1777  shows fungus  spreading from a post onto rock in a marble quarry at Ashford.

7              Watson's monuments

Signed monuments can be seen in several  churches in the area,   e. g. Youlgreave,   Hartington,   Longstone.    They are simple and elegant with rectangular inscriptions in  a border of contrasting marble.     A carving usually surmounts them.     The unsigned monuments in Bakewell Church to Edward Heathcote and to Mary and Barker Bossley are typical.    He presumably also carved the plaque in Ashford  Church to his  uncle Henry. Stoney Middleton has a black inscription inside a severely plain border, presumably to match a similar,   older one on the other   side of the church. Tideswell has a small plaque curved to fit on a pillar.

The Foljambe monument in Bakewell   Church bears his signature,   as he

restored it.             «

There are references to Watson's monuments and other works in several sources.    Some may not actually have been made.    Those that have been seen are marked with an asterisk.

a)             Letters in Weston Park Museum:

Commemoration of George Ill's restoration to health,

St.   George's Chapel,   Windsor. Memorial to William Watson of Shirtcliff Hall and sister,

Sheffield Cathedral.   * Darwin memorial,   Breadsall Church. Chimney piece,   Brayton,   Carlisle. Chimney piece and bowl ordered by Marquis of Lansdown.

b)            The folio in Derby library (ms 9262) contains a sketch by Thomas  Blore

of Sir Roger Manner's monuments in Whitwell Church repaired by Watson.

c)             A book of drawings of monuments by Samuel,   Henry and White Watson

in the Derbyshire Records Office has few monuments which can be recognised,   except Mary Bateman's in Youlgreave Church,* which has a circular inscription set within a square.     There is a design for a trophy to be put in Major Kay's monument in Youlgreave Church. Memorials for Wakefield Church and  Haslington Church are drawn.


d)   Briggs (1858) refers to Watson restoring the Powtrell monuments at

West Hallam. Q)   The diaries in Sheffield library refer to approval given for a memorial

in Ashford Church to the ancestors of J.   Milnes of Wakefield.

f)             Ford (1973) mentions that he restored the font in Bakewell Church

and worked for the Sitwells at Renishaw.

g)            Charles Bradbury's notebook given to the Bakewell and District

Historical Society says that Watson carved the heraldry over the door of the Rutland Arms.     The Bradbury family inherited much


from Watson, h)    The book of geological sections  in Derby library (ms 9262) has a

drawing of a table inlayed in various marbles,   ores etc.    It was first made by Henry Watson to the design of the Earl of Effingham. Three copies were  sold by White Watson to John Lloyd of North Wales,   John Milnes of Wakefield and the Earl of Warwick.    There is also a drawing of a pyramid made of various rocks sold to William Manning.